12 Rules to Live By: My Desiderata

(All rules subject to change without notice)

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  1. Be Mindful – Pay attention to the air coming in and out of your nostrils. Smile–now! Take responsibility for your thoughts, which create emotions. Learn to control your mind, and you will have a lot more control over other things in your life.
  2. Enjoy Your Body – You don’t have to belong to a gym to exercise regularly. Just move more often, use a little discipline, and have fun. I need ashtanga yoga and I love walking. You might prefer to play sports or ride bicycle. Overcoming inertia is hard sometimes, but the payoff is awesome.
  3. Eat Well – Stop buying pre-packaged crap, even when it’s disguised to look like healthy crap. Eat real food. If you can make it yourself, do. Eat rich, delicious, decadent things but eat less of them. Try new vegetables; try dishes you’ve never heard of. Eat less meat if you eat it at all. When you do eat meat, make it count. Being vegetarian is awesome, but notice how your rules erect barriers between you and others. Learn to let go and be flexible. Appreciate the social and cultural dimension of food.
  4. Allow for Indulgences (but refer to #2 as you do) – If you like to drink, smoke weed, or shop for new clothes, go for it. Do it mindfully and you’ll be alright. Resisting pleasure can cause problems. No one lives forever, so you might as well enjoy life.
  5. De-Clutter – Get rid of all that junk. No more excuses. Throw it out, now! Don’t create an “I might use this someday” pile. And related to that, Keep your Room Clean. Clean often because then there’s no grime. No grime means cleaning isn’t gross. And wear gloves. Cleaning isn’t so bad with rubber gloves. If it’s that bad, hire a professional and consider downsizing your space.
  6. Manage Your Time – If you want or need to do something, do it now. Prioritize instead of procrastinate. Make lists if you need to. Never say “I don’t have time for…” and change it to “That’s a low priority activity.” If you want to squeeze something in, you can do it. Sleep less if you can, and waste less time.
  7. Smile, especially with your eyes. If someone doesn’t smile back, don’t take it personally. Make eye contact and connect with others.
  8. Stop Wishing You Had Stuff – Constantly craving what you don’t have is a terrible state of mind. Pay attention to what you have. Learn to distinguish between what you think you “should” have, and what you really need to be happy. Is it that important even to own a house? Maybe it is, but at least find out why you think so. Examine the root causes of your desires, and learn to distinguish between the needs of your soul and the petty wants that hold you back. If you want something, make room for it. Never say “I Can’t Afford” something, and never say, “When I Win the Lottery.” These are poison phrases. Stop saying those, and you’ll start realizing what you can afford, which is more than you think.
  9. If you have good taste, stop buying cheap crap. When you stop buying cheap crap, you can save money to buy something nice and you’ll learn that one nice thing makes you happier than ten ugly things. If you don’t have good taste, consider yourself lucky.
  10. Dress well and look your best. It’s a sign of respect for others, not just yourself.
  11. Laugh at yourself, and learn to take yourself lightly. Laugh often.
  12. Stop judging people, even in your own mind. Compassion is the coolest mental medicine.

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Read things like Desiderata. You never know what’s going to speak to you or when, so recognize the lesson in everything. Travel isn’t everything.

You are welcome to add to the list by leaving a comment.

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